If you are like me, you can't run your air conditioner at 68 degrees for the entire summer. In fact I don't think my thermostat has ever seen 68 in the summer.Here is a list of some simple steps you can take to beat the head and pinch some pennies on your energy bill.
- Pump up the thermostat and turn on the ceiling fan. Human comfort in light clothing in the summer is between 72 F and 78 F. To extend the comfort range to 82 F,and extend your savings!, you need a breeze of about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph. A slow-turning ceiling-mounted paddle fan can easily provide this air flow. Make sure your ceiling fan switch at the base is in the down position!
- Try not to use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is running. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
- When possible, delay heat-generating activities such as dishwashing until evening on hot days. Who doesn't want to put off chores!? I am all about that one! I even run the dishwasher after I go to bed. Wake up and the dishes are done! Plus, air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle. I do this year round. I can wait a few more minutes for the water to evaporate off the dishes. It is well worth the energy savings for me!
- Install awnings on south-facing windows, where there’s insufficient roof overhang to provide shade. The southern exposure gets the most sun every day.
- Keep the thermostat set at 78 degrees F or higher if using ceiling fans.
- Don’t air-condition unused rooms. If you aren't using it don't cool it!
- Don't place lamps or TVs near your air conditioning thermostat. The heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer. The thermostat doesn't know the difference between a hot room and a hot lamp.
- Without blocking air flow, shade your outside compressor. Plant natural shade such as tall grasses or instal a lattice barrier.
- Pull the shades shut. Keep out the sun will keep in the savings. It is worth my pennies to shut out the sun and keep the house cool in the summer.
- Check to see that your fireplace damper is tightly closed. You might have forgotten to shut it after your last fire in the winter. Your energy dollars might be literally going up the chimney.
How do you beat the heat and pinch pennies on your energy bill? Leave a comment below so we can all learn from your knowledge!
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